Today we are going to talk about How To Celebrate The Season Of Lent. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the official start to the season of Lent. Lent is the six week period leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most important times of the year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox traditions.
How To Celebrate The Season Of Lent
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To be honest, I have not been one to celebrate Lent. I am a Christian but I tend to gloss over the “Season Of Lent”. I see my Catholic friends with their Ash Wednesday ash marks and listen to them talk about what they are giving up for Lent.
What Are You Giving Up For Lent
Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence. Just as we carefully prepare for events in our personal lives, like a wedding, or birthday; Lent invites us to make our minds and hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ life, death, and bodily resurrection.
Many people give up things like alcohol, sugar, fish, meat, eggs, and fats until Easter. It is also becoming increasingly common for people to give up other things in order to refocus their faith during this time; such as watching TV, going to the gym, even social media.
What Are You “Giving” For Lent
I was talking with one of my friends and instead of “giving up” something for Lent, she is using this time for “giving”. More Christians are turning to the idea of 40acts challenge as a way of doing Lent differently; using simple daily reflections and acts of generosity as a way of putting others first during preparations for Easter.
How To Celebrate The Season Of Lent- Start Your Morning With Devotion Time
I love this idea. It is amazing how better your day is when you start your mornings with devotion time. When your focus is on God and on others, your problems in life seem minor and you start to get an “Attitude of Gratitude”.
How To Create A Daily Devotion Time
First, find a quiet place away from daily distractions. Start with 15 minutes and build up to 30 minutes or even an hour of devotion time. Many people do daily devotions in the morning, but when you do it is up to you.
- Start with prayer
- Read a daily devotion from a Devotional Book or Guide
- Reflect on what you read and how it applies to your life
- Use a journal to write down your thoughts, prayers, reflections
- End your devotion time with a prayer
For the next 6 weeks of Lent, focus on doing a daily devotion time. The goal is to ultimately have a daily devotion time every day that you look forward to.
How To Celebrate The Season Of Lent- Encourage Others
Use the Season of Lent to encourage others. The idea is that you focus on others instead of yourself
- Pray each day for someone you know who is hurting/struggling
- Write a note of encouragement and send it by mail
- Use social media to send messages of encouragement
- Call someone who you have lost contact with
- Spend time with someone who needs encouragement
How To Celebrate The Season Of Lent- Acts Of Generosity
Each day of Lent do a random “Act of Kindness” or “Act of Generosity”. It is not just about giving money, but also something even more precious, our time. For me, it is easier if I plan my Acts of Generosity. Then when random situations present themself, it is just an added opportunity.
Ideas for Acts Of Generosity Include:
- Paying it forward in a fast food or coffee line
- Anonymously donating to a local charity or animal shelter
- Volunteering for a local organization
- Helping a new mother by watching the baby while she has some alone time.
- Check Pinterest and other online resources for ideas and suggestions.
Combine Aspects of All Areas To Create Your Own “Celebration Of Lent”.
Start with the concept of giving something up for Lent. It should be something you are struggling with or something that is unhealthy. For me, it is sugar, as I have gotten off the bandwagon and now is a great time for me to refocus on my health and diet.
Next plan acts of kindness or generosity on a calendar. That what you have a solid plan you can incorporate into your daily life.
Finally, but most importantly, set aside a “quiet time” or “devotion time” for reflection, prayer, and/or journaling. Buy a daily devotional guide to help structure your time. If needed, set a timer to get you to use to devoting quiet time.
How To Celebrate The Season Of Lent- Final Thoughts
Life is busy and messy. I have found myself getting bogged down and pulled down. Getting the focus off the daily grind and onto God and other people will help reduce stress by creating an “Attitude of Gratitude”. Spending time rejoicing and appreciating instead of griping and complaining. An attitude adjustment just in time for spring!